Finding Public Records Isn’t Always Easy.

December 2nd, 2009
Collecting public records on your own is difficult. We can help.

Collecting public records on your own is difficult. We can help.

We live in the information age, a time when people are able to get almost any type of data they want from thousands of sources. This wealth of information has generated a new challenge: finding data that is complete, accurate and reliable.

Many companies sell public records, but they are often accused of providing inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information. These companies don’t always own the data they sell, and sometimes utilize a “bait and switch” tactic to get people to purchase multiple reports. They do this by displaying a teaser that indicates a lot of information is available, but when a customer purchases a report they discover that they must buy several more to get all the details. This leaves people with two choices: order reports from a public records company and hope for the best, or try to find the information they need on their own.

One of the biggest problems people encounter when searching for information themselves is that there is an intimidating amount of data available, and it is scattered over innumerable locations. People who attempt to find accurate details about individuals or businesses frequently discover that the search can be exasperating. Social profiles often provide information that is incomplete or inaccurate, and obtaining public records from government agencies can be difficult and time consuming.

To complicate matters, some of the data people have access to is not complete or correct. A recent Wall Street journal article reported that arrest records aren’t always ‘by the book’.  It stated that a famous 1967 report about crime statistics in the U.S. was seriously flawed, and that criminal data may be even more unreliable today. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country don’t follow a uniform system for calculating and reporting data, and this directly affects the criminal information that public records companies provide.

Another issue that makes collecting and displaying criminal information difficult is determining what should be listed in a report and what should not. These days it’s easy to get a background check to learn more about anyone’s past, and these reports often show criminal records even when the charges were dismissed or the circumstances were trivial (such as a traffic violation).

The problem is that many reports do not differentiate between what is and is not a criminal offense. This is causing people to want to take control over what information is available about them. One  Wall Street Journal story explains that many people are attempting to expunge even the most minor infractions so the details won’t be publicly available.

Criminal reports aren’t the only difficult aspect for public records; even the most basic information presents problems. Every person generates thousands of records in their lifetime, and they are not always consistent. For example, an individual may have several variations on their name, phone numbers may or may not include an area code, people entering data make mistakes, numbers are easily transposed … there are many potential issues.

Every problem needs a solution, and that’s why PeopleFinders is dedicated to providing the most accurate and detailed information available. To achieve this goal we own and maintain the web’s largest database of public records. We have access to more than 40 years of historical data, which allows us to create comprehensive documents about individual and businesses. This sets us apart from companies that only provide a limited amount of data or try to get you to purchase multiple reports – we offer everything you need to know in one convenient and easy-to-understand report.

First we collect every relevant piece of information, sort it, fix spelling errors, create a uniform format to display the data and insert it into appropriate categories. Next we meticulously search through this data to ensure we only utilize relevant information. The criminal data mentioned earlier provides a good example. When creating documents such as a “Stud Or Dud” report (which thoroughly examines any person’s past to create a clear profile of their background) our system eliminates minor violations and only keeps serious offenses, such as a felony charge.

Presenting the data provides another major challenge. We refine our reports to make them clear, concise and easy to read. Even reports that are likely to contain a large amount of information, such as a Marriage Search report, are displayed in a manner that makes all the information easy to find and understand.

The art of collecting, sorting and presenting public records may not be perfect yet, but by putting in the time, effort and resources it is possible to offer valuable and accurate information. PeopleFinders is up to this task, and we continually strive to find to provide you with the best source of public records available anywhere. Thank you for turning to us for your public records needs, and for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125789494126242343.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
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